The Truth about Flushing Hair: What Plumbers Recommend Instead


Mar. 27 2024, Published 4:06 p.m. ET

Close-up shot of a person with long hair pulling a clump of hair out of a brush.
Source: iStock

If you’re a human with hair, a clogged shower drain is a part of life. Getting your gag reflex in check long enough to clean it out is only half the problem. What on earth do you do with that gunky mess?

Article continues below advertisement

Can you flush hair down the toilet? While tempting, plumbers say this "solution" often creates bigger problems. Find out how to keep your pipes flowing freely and avoid costly repairs!

A plumber kneeling on the floor beside a toilet with an open toolbox close by.
Source: iStock
Article continues below advertisement

Can you flush hair down the toilet?

It’s fine to flush your human waste and toilet paper down the toilet, so why not your hair? After all, it’s organic matter and was once a part of you. But not so fast —  according to Mr. Plumber, hair does not magically biodegrade when exposed to water, so flushing it risks combining with residue buildup in the pipe and causing a blockage.

The Shroom Company agrees, saying your hair is a potential plumbing hazard and can actually cause significant issues if left unchecked in your pipes.

Article continues below advertisement

Wastewater Transport Services, a certified transportation and disposal company that has made a business out of cleaning the gunk out of pipes, also lists hair as one of the items that shouldn’t go down your toilet.

According to them, hair becomes something akin to a mesh stuck in the conduit, making it difficult for anything else to pass by.

Is hair compostable? Here's what to do with hair instead.

Now that you know flushing your hair down the toilet isn’t a good idea, let’s look at what to do with it instead. The Shroom Company recommends investing in a catchment device and throwing the trapped hair in the bin.

Smith’s Plumbing Services concurs that the best way to dispose of hair is to toss it in the trash. However, we like Green Salon Collective’s approach to this problem.

Article continues below advertisement
A parent with their child, shovelling compost into a small wheelbarrow.
Source: iStock

They’ve chosen to offer “zero-to-landfill salon recycling solutions” to hairdressers in Ireland and Britain, one of which is to compost the offcuts collected from the salons they service.

Why not take a leaf out of their sustainability book and level up your own zero-waste efforts by adding your hair to the compost bin rather than flushing it down the toilet? It’s better for the planet, your pipes, and your pocket.

Article continues below advertisement

Aside from composting, human hair has many uses once it’s no longer attached to your scalp. Behind The Chair says that, among other things, hair can be used to create mats and booms that help mitigate the effects of oil spillage in the sea.

Per Behind The Chair, Green Salon Collective has also joined forces with The Natural Fibre Company to further the mill’s initiative to create a sustainable solution to traditionally produced yarns, twine, and ropes.

So, let's put this hairy situation to rest and remember: when it comes to your hair and your toilet, they're just not meant to be a match! Swipe right and head to the trash can instead.

More from Green Matters

Latest Home News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Green Matters. Green Matters is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.